The marketing efforts in retail stores have shifted to the online world as technology offers more immediate and efficient modes of buying products.

Amazon recently expanded its Prime Now services across 11 new metro areas which now increase their footing in 27 major areas that span across 1,000 cities. Their services now deliver to the greater New York City including North and Central New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth, the San Francisco Bay area including Oakland and San Jose, the Tampa Bay area, Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, D.C., and now Milwaukee, Charlotte, Richmond, Fresno, Louisville, Nashville, Stockton, Cincinnati, Sacramento, Tucson and Raleigh.

This is part of their annual membership program that costs $99 annually; the other services offered are "Prime Now," for smartphone deals, and "Free Two-Day" delivery service that is offered to the entire continental U.S. To avail of the free delivery charge, premium members have to order above $35 or else pay a $5.99 same-day delivery charge. Non-Prime members, on the other hand, pay $8.99 per order and $0.99 per item.

Other retail stores such as Target and Walmart have yet to follow in Amazon's steps since making same-day delivery offers is ridiculously tricky to accomplish outside of large cities. These so-called "brick and mortar stores" have to contend with the online capabilities that Amazon offers to its customers.

Target offers a "Rush Delivery" system that services select areas of Boston, MA; Miami, FL; and Minneapolis, MN. Consumers can avail free one-day shipping delivery if they shop with Target's Credit, Debit or Master Card or spend more than $25 using other payment methods. Orders placed by 1:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday will be delivered on the same day while orders placed after 1:30 p.m. will be delivered the following day. "Rush Delivery" orders can be received within 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Walmart allegedly tested its own delivery system called "ShippingPass" that would offer three-day deliveries at no minimum costs which could've rivaled Amazon's Prime. The free shipping offer with no additional costs also includes other items that weren't tagged for three-day deliveries and would instead arrive within four to six days. The membership fee is marked at $50 per year once the feature is released for pilot testing.

Currently, Walmart offers "same-day curbside pickup." Consumers can buy from Walmart's online website and pick it up at a pre-designated time set by the buyer with no added charge. This is the company's solution in addressing time management for consumers that may not be able to shop within store hours to avail their store's "everyday low price."

Photo: Fumiaki Yoshimatsu | Flickr

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